Review of Illicit Hugs And Playground Thugs Album by The Basement

The Basement
Illicit Hugs And Playground Thugs
Album Sampler

The Basement Illicit Hugs And Playground Thugs Album

Originally from Omagh in Northern Ireland, John Mullin and the rest of The Basement formed the band when the singer, guitarist, and songwriter moved to Liverpool. Spotted by Alan Wills, they were signed to his Deltasonic label, home of other Scouse bands such as The Zutons and The Dead 60s.

Starting with a hollow acoustic strum behind the vocals, "Autumn's Gone" begins in solemn tones before lifting to a brighter sound that has helped The Coral find success. Country influences emanate from "It Won't Be Long" and "Just Caught A Face", the latter of which is an upbeat number featuring a jangling piano.

With a darker tone, "Roadtrip" begins with the potential to be a huge epic, but never fulfils the promise, while easily the best track is "It's A Kinda Love". A frosty ballad, Mullin's voice comes into it's own, proving to be a commanding instrument in itself. It is one of few positives from the band, as their songs don't beg to be heard, nor do they invite you to dance or sing along.

Alex Lai

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